Today Bremer Farms received our prize for winning the Show Your Pride photo contest hosted by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League. Minnesota Viking Toby Gerhart visited our farm. What a great prize!
Our visit began with a meet and greet in our garage. We got to ask Toby questions about life on and off the football field. Did you know he graduated from Stanford with a degree in engineering? Got married in June, 2013? His parents are both teachers? And he has 5 siblings, including triplet sisters, a brother in high school and a brother that plays for the Green Bay Packers? After we learned a bit more about him, it was time for Toby to learn
about our life on the farm.
Our first stop was getting a look at the 128 cows we milk each day. We informed Toby that our cows are milked twice a day, and we shared the purpose for each of the buildings on our farm. Toby asked how much a typical cow weighed, and how much milk each cow gives. We also discussed that Sara, Michael and I each have jobs away from the farm, and that our farm is completely run by our family and John's parents...a true family farm! We asked Toby if he would like to be a Bremer Farms employee for the day. "Sure," he said. Time to feed the calves, Toby!
Before the calf feeding began, we presented Toby with an official Bremer Farms vest. I think he liked it!
Sara taught Toby the ins-and-outs of calf feeding. He commented on how fast each calf finished their milk and Sara explained that when they are full grown they will drink about a bathtub of water each day. I bet our calf Gordon never thought he would be fed by an NFL player!
Next it was time for the attending media to ask a few questions. Television, radio, magazines and newspaper folks asked Toby...which Viking would make a good farmer, who wouldn't be a good farmer, what message will you take away from this farm visit? And Toby shared his love for milk by saying he loves chocolate milk to refuel after a workout!
Before leaving the calf barn, Toby fell in love with one of our calves. Thanks to Toby, she is now named Bella!
Finally, we showed Toby the milking barn and explained the milking process. And lastly, it was off to see how and where the cows are fed.
Then it was back to the house for milk and cheese, and autograph signing. Toby said milk is still his first choice for a beverage at meals. Thanks to his parents who taught him the importance of milk in his diet! I asked him if he misses his mom's home-cooking and he said his mom always served tacos on Tuesdays and spaghetti on Thursdays. Sounds like some cheese was being served there!
Toby is not only a fantastic football player, but a fantastic person as well.
Come back soon, Toby. I'm sure we can find a hungry calf for you to feed!
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